Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 55: (May 25) Run/Walk Across d Philippines (Piat, Cagayan Valley)

After having coffee and oatmeal with Bishop Jun, I asked for his blessing and he saw me off at 5 am.
I was expecting to be fully recovered and fresh after a day of rest. Instead I felt sluggish and weak. The heat added to my lethargy. So I made frequent long rest stops, drinking cobra energy drink.
The road became more rough and dusty so I walked slowly. I got several text messages warning me about the supertyphoon which is coming soon. When it started to rain by 3 pm, I thought that this was already the effect of the storm but it did not last long. After the rain stopped I felt stronger so I did some intermittent running on the hilly rough road. I expecting to be doing 43 km today but when I reached Tuao at 7 pm, it turned out to be 48 km. I went to rectory and met Mgr. Bacule. He told me that he had just been newly assigned to the parish last week and the whole place was still a mess and could not accomodate me. So he brought me to the nearby Basilica of Piat and introduced me to Mgr Othello who invited me for supper and gave me a room at the pilgrim hostel.
So here I am at the shrine of Our Lady of Piat - a popular Marian pilgrimage site since the 17th century.
I am one day ahead of schedule. Had I been given accomodation at Tuao, I would have walked the 10 km distance tomorrow and spend the rest of the day in recollection and then move on to Gattaran on Friday. But since the typhoon is expected to hit Cagayan Valley on Friday, I will have to reach Gattaran tomorrow afternoon and then take shelter from the storm on Friday. I am not sure if I can reach Aparri on Saturday if the super-typhoon Chedeng pass this area. Everything seems to be uncertain at the moment.

Total distance covered so far: 1980 km.

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